Archive for Books

Keeping Diaries

Written memories
Written memories

 

I realize that keeping a blog is like keeping a diary.  The big difference is there could be many people reading your blog so you want to be careful of what you say. 

I’ve kept a diary since I was 10.  I can remember my mom opening one of her dresser drawers and there sat a little black book with the year 1965 printed on it.  I opened it and saw where it was dated daily – but with blank pages.  I looked at my mother and asked her, “Where are the words?”  She explained that it was a book in which you write about your thoughts, feelings or happenings every day.  I immediately fell in love with it.  

To read back over my first diary is a comic event all by itself.  I not only used words, I drew pictures to describe the day.  I have pictures of me in pigtails climbing trees.  Pictures of birds I’d seen that day.  Mostly in pencil and slowly fading away, but you can still read it.  There is two weeks worth of writing and lamenting over a dead dog lying on the side of the road that my brother and I had to pass every morning walking to school.  We couldn’t figure out why no one came and got it and buried it.  I have a drawing of it eventually rotting and worms crawling on it.  A pretty good drawing at that!  Left no doubt as to what it was.  

Then when you get into the years where I start noticing boys, the diaries become very strange.  One day it’s this boy, the next day it’s that boy.  I was in love with a different boy every week.  The page of my first kiss is very touching.  It was a boy in Miami and we were both too scared to kiss.  We needed courage.  My little brother (who is watching all of this with contempt because God knows he’d already kissed a dozen girls by this time and I’m still trying to kiss my first boy) says, “I know what you need!!  You need bread!  Bread gives you courage!”  Off he ran to the house to get two pieces of white bread which Gordy and I both ate and sure enough, it gave us courage!  We were in the swimming pool, we both slid under water and pressed our lips together!  Our first kiss!

Needless to say, it became a whole lot easier after that.  Uh huh.

Those teenage years.  Now who wouldn’t want to remember those years?  I have them all written out in sometimes, vivid, detail.  My first EVERYTHING.  I read back and think, “Why in heck did I write all that?!”  It’s no wonder I spent every waking moment trying to find a place to hide the darned things!  Oh, that was so much fun.  NOT.  It seemed no matter where I hid them, one of my older brothers would find them.  And then not only find them, but run to the bathroom and start shouting out to everyone what I’d written!   I would be so mortified and upset and I would stand on the other side of the door and scream and shout and finally be reduced to tears and begging.  I have to say my Gram wasn’t a lot of help.  She’d stand there a few minutes and listen to all of it and after a bit she would lay down the law and make whoever it was give me my diary back.  It didn’t matter if the diary came with a lock, one year my brother  just snipped the leather clasp with scissors and rendered the key useless.  I don’t think he really WANTED to be mean, he just could be sometimes. 

 My little brother wasn’t quite so bad.  He would discover where they were and instead of teasing me, he’d just share them with his friends when they came over and I was gone somewhere.  Then when I’d see them again I’d get all these looks and giggles behind my back.  Oh yeah, finding a place to keep these babies became a real art, I have to tell you.

 Sometimes reading them brings me sadness, sometimes joy, sometimes disbelief that I’d ever felt that way, been through that, done or said that thing.  There are births, deaths, marriages, divorces.  Maybe not everyone’s, but at least those I was closest to at the time of writing.  There are forty-five years of me in those books that I’m not so sure I want anyone to read when I’m gone.

 A friend told me once, after she’d lost her husband, “Don’t write anything that may hurt someone who reads it after you’re gone.”  I don’t know if that had happened to her, perhaps she’d read something her husband wrote that hurt her; I didn’t ask.  I knew it was too late anyway.  I have written when I’m angry, sad, depressed and happy as hell.  I’ve gone back and even torn out pages.  Now, when I write, I know I should write about the good things that are happening, not the bad.  I find my books extremely boring because they’re all about ME.  I mean, I already KNOW all that stuff in there.  A few family members or friends have said, “Leave them to me when you’re gone.”  I know they mean well, I do, but  I have selected someone to take them – someone who doesn’t live here in town, someone who may not judge me too harshly since she didn’t grow up around me, and someone I trust to take care of them.  Plus, she is family.   

I wish I could put them in a time capsule that no one could open for fifty years.  Wouldn’t that be cool?  Fifty years from now some great, great, great someone could open the capsule and wonder who in the heck I was!  Throw pictures in with the books of everyone I know and love.  It would take a cemetery plot to hold it all!

Hey!  I happen to have one of those!  Anyone up for some nighttime grave digging? You know how I love cemeteries…

 

 

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